First, let’s find out what the greater trochanter actually is. The greater trochanter is the bump at the top of the femur. Oftentimes, it is mistaken for the actual hip, but the hip joint is deep within the pelvis, near the pubic bone. Whereas, the greater trochanter is on the side of the femur bone.

Pain in the hip area, caused by the greater trochanter, may be the result of one or several of the muscles attached to the greater trochanter becoming inflamed (or tendonitis). These six muscles include the Quadratus Femoris, the Gluteus Medius, the Piriformis, the Gluteus Minimus, the Obturator Internus, and the Obturator Externus.

In other cases, trochanteric bursitis is a common problem that causes pain in the area of the hip over the bump that forms the greater trochanter. Eventually, the pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh. When the bursa sac becomes inflamed, pain results each time the tendon has to move over the bone. The pain may eventually be omnipresent and prevent restful sleep.

In many cases, treatment is simple and includes resting and immobilizing the affected area, applying ice to reduce swelling, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, this does not always fix the problem. In such cases, a greater trochanter injection may be administered.

Trochanter injections are performed typically with the guidance of an x-ray machine and involve the injection of local anesthetic and steroids to provide the patient with pain relief. The immediacy and length of pain relief vary by patient, with most experience short-term relief right away from the local anesthetic, and longer-term pain relief from the steroid within 48-72 hours.

As a side note: This procedure cannot be performed if you have an active infection, flu, fever, extremely high blood pressure, or if you are on blood thinners.